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Home > This Mumbai Apartment Creates a Bond Between Art Deco and Minimalism

This Mumbai Apartment Creates a Bond Between Art Deco and Minimalism

Atelier Varun Goyal crafts an architectural narrative that links two design eras with a focus on minimal and flexible spaces

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Location: Mumbai
Design Firm: Atelier Varun Goyal
Principal Architect:  Varun Goyal
Project Architects: Khushi Patel and Ankita Jadhav
Carpet Area: 2,500 square feet; 232 square metres
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Photography by: Talib Chitalwala

The living area, study, and master bedroom frame ocean views and are purposefully oriented to maximise this connection.

While the city is in a constant state of transformation, Mumbai’s iconic Art Deco buildings have unwaveringly endured. With structures dating back to the 1920s, there is a deep privilege and immense gravity that comes with crafting a home within. Architects have a responsibility to the architectural inheritance yet must create a space that exemplifies the client’s present-day lifestyle and tastes. It’s the needle architect Varun Goyal had to thread with this sea-facing, two-bedroom Colaba home. 

The design of this sea-facing apartment in an Art Deco building revolves around the creation of a zen-like cocoon to unwind.

“The aim was to design a serene, zen-like home for a newlywed couple who had a preference for a minimalist lifestyle…(they) desired spaces that could cater to various needs and adapt as their family grows,” Goyal explains. In its prime, Art Deco style represented luxury and glamour. On the other hand, minimalism is characterised by simplicity of form. Straddling these two distinct styles, Goyal had an enormous task ahead with a strict six-month timeline from planning to completion.

While creating a continued visual experience from the building’s Art Deco exteriors into the apartment, the design firm tailored the apartment to feature warm and minimal interiors with subtle detailing. Versatility and growth also played a crucial role in the design. “Our vision was to create flexible spaces with a strong connection to nature while utilising natural materials and sustainable design principles,” explains Goyal. 

The entrance exudes elegance; the main door features subtle wood and brass detailing

As one traverses the entrance lobby, they are welcomed by the warmth of wood elevated by the subtle geometry of brass detailing. Entirely clad in wood – from flooring to walls to ceiling – the area cocoons in a sense of elegance and serenity. “The intricately crafted wooden door, adorned with geometric wood and brass details, serves as a captivating prelude to the breathtaking sea view that greets you as you enter the foyer. Wood brings warmth, texture, and a sense of natural beauty to interior spaces. It complements the serene seaside surroundings, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere,” Goyal adds. 

The neutral living room; furniture and hand woven natural fibre rug from The Rocking Chair Company by Ravneet Gujral with pieces from Atelier Varun Goyal; soft furnishings from The Pure Concept Home, AtoZ Furnishing and D’décor; Lighting from Taherally’s, Arjun Rathi, and Maroo Lights; sculptures by Phillips Antiques and Natesons Antiquarts; artwork by Shivaji Tupe
Brass-detailed bar area

To the right, the living area unfolds, seamlessly flowing into the balcony through a collapsible clear glass door. This helps to blur the distinction between indoors and outdoors, creating a haven for entertaining, dining and relaxation. “We chose a neutral colour palette and used natural materials to foster a sense of tranquillity. The living room is thoughtfully arranged, offering versatile seating options and a flexible dining table that can adapt to different occasions and moods,” he says. A compact bar area tucked into a corner of the dining room is replete with wooden collapsible doors and brass cladding. “This addition lends an air of sophistication to the living space, providing a perfect setting for intimate gatherings,” he continues.  

Warm wood, subtle geometry and minimal elements impart a sense of quiet luxury
An understated addition of colour is brought about by decorative elements and artwork; seen here is an artwork by Manjit Bawa. Dining chairs and trolley from The Big Piano by Samira Rathod; furnishings by The Pure Concept Home; 105-year-old blown-glass lamp with original brass fittings from Taherally’s

To the left of the entrance is a cleverly designed pantry, discreetly concealed behind a Japanese-style slider door, conveniently connected to the kitchen and utility area. Moving towards the private areas, one enters the study room which can be transformed into a guest bedroom or a future children’s bedroom. 

Japanese-style slider doors neatly conceal the pantry while adding to the visual; kitchen appliances by Smeg and Bosch
Just beyond the pantry, lies the multipurpose study

“(The study) provides a captivating view of the expansive ocean, offering a serene and inspiring workspace. The quirky wooden wardrobe adds a touch of personality and charm while the attached toilet, featuring an exquisite marble bathtub, adds an element of luxury to this multifunctional room,” Goyal explains. 

The study features an exquisitely designed wooden wardrobe with subtle detailing
Also in the study is a wicker chair and clothes valet from The Rocking Chair Company by Ravneet Gujral, a red upholstered armchair by Atelier Varun Goyal and art by Nirmal Shah
It also includes a bathtub made from Indian marble

The master bedroom is located just off the living room. The furniture layout is purposefully oriented to maximise the panoramic sea view, yet again establishing a connection with the natural surroundings. The interiors of the bedrooms exude warmth and quiet luxury. 

A corridor clad almost entirely in wood leads to the bedroom
The master bedroom; furniture from Taherally’s and Atelier Varun Goyal; furnishings from Sarita Handa
The master bedroom also features lighting from Taherally’s, Arjun Rathi and Maroo Lights

“The layout is meticulously designed to maximise the connection of activities with the breathtaking sea view. We also incorporated ample storage spaces like wardrobes and hidden shelves to maintain a clean, minimal appearance and ensure practicality and adaptability,” says Goyal. Sustainable features have also been fused into the design including maximising daylight and cross ventilation as well as the use of natural materials to regulate temperature and reduce environmental impact. 

In the bedrooms, old teak wood has been used for the wardrobes elevated by minimal brass details while the flooring is cast-in-situ terrazzo created from marble waste sitting within a wooden framework and featuring white marble strip inlays; The master bedroom
The master bedroom features an attached bathroom
The attached bathroom features separate cubicles for the wet areas, adorned with elegant Indian marble and minimalist details while the vanity features subtle details on every drawer

Goyal purposefully uses a colour and material palette that emphasises earthy and natural elements. Materials include lime wash finish walls, reclaimed old teak wood doors and wardrobes with brass detailing, terrazzo flooring with wooden borders, and Indian marble cladding in the bathrooms. “The furniture, sourced from The Rocking Chair Company and Atelier Varun Goyal, was selected to complement the Zen and Minimal theme, striking a balance between comfort, functionality and aesthetic appeal,” explains Goyal. Subtle geometry of the brass detailing as well as elements like lighting fixtures from Taherallys and Maroo Lights adds to the Art Deco flair.

Indian marble was chosen for countertops and cladding in the bathrooms; The study ensuite

“The home breaks away from traditional luxury interior design trends that often emphasise grandeur and opulence. Instead, it redefines luxury by prioritising understated elegance and simplicity. (It) embraces a modern approach to luxury, focusing on clean lines and a serene ambience, reflecting the essence of Zen living. This departure from lavish extravagance presents a refreshing and evolved perspective on interior luxury, where the emphasis is on creating a calming and inviting space without excessive ornamentation,” Goyal concludes. 

The apartment layout


Story by Nadezna Siganporia

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